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iPad Thumboard – live!

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Remember the thumb keyboard concept for the iPad introduced earlier?  Well, here’s a real live working demo.  This demo works best on latest Safari or Chrome (although Firefox is workable too).

Try Thumboard live!

It’ll be best to try it on an actual iPad when it ships, which shouldn’t be too long now.  There is also a bookmarklet to enable the Thumboard on any website.  Try the ‘rotate’ button to simulate rotating on the iPad.


<script type="text/javascript" src="getThumboard.js" charset="utf-8" >

This will load the necessary JS/CSS/HTML files and fire up the thumboard.

Or with callback:

<script type="text/javascript" src="getThumboard.js?cb=my_init" charset="utf-8" >

where my_init() is defined in your code, eg:

function my_init() {
     var options = {enterText:'Search'};
     new Thumboard(options);

Who knows, now that there seems to be Dvorak keyboard support for the iPad, why not a Thumboard!?

Update: Apr. 23.  The demo has been improved and updated.   Work around for webkit bug selectionStart on readOnly inputs.  Enter key support on forms (except webkit due to another bug!)

NOTE: This code is provided purely for demonstration purposes and  may not live long.  Commercial use without express permission prohibited!

Written by Moos

March 25th, 2010 at 4:05 am

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Aw Shucks – only 2!

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Written by Moos

March 12th, 2010 at 1:50 pm

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Thumb keyboard concept for the iPad

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Update: Try live working demo!

iPad will be a great device for casual reading and web surfing. Not so for writing. The lack of tactile-feedback is one reason. The form-factor is another.

The great thing about the iPad is being able to hold it in your hands. To use the default keyboard, you’d have to hold it in one hand while typing with the other — not so comfortable. Or lay it on a flat surface, which takes away from the form-factor benefits.

Why not use your thumbs? You can hold it with both hands and use both thumbs for typing. Thumb-based keyboards are a plenty:

The default iPad keyboard (as gleamed from the photos), has 37 keys.

  • 26 – A-Z
  • 2 – right/left shift
  • 2 – right/left numeric
  • 2 – punctuation
  • 2 – meta
  • 1 – delete
  • 1 – search/enter

With inside screen dimensions (sans bevel border) of roughly 5.82″ x 7.76″, I estimate key dimension to be about .4″ for the typical alphanumeric keys, plus the space around it.

The length of my thumb is about 2 ½” long. So, including intra-key spacing, roughly four keys should be easily within reach of a single thumb.

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Written by Moos

February 17th, 2010 at 1:46 am

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